8 Feb 2013

Kiribati sea search fails to get outside help

4:49 pm on 8 February 2013

A Kiribati fishing boat is still lost at sea and the marine search and rescue is finding it hard to attract help from overseas.

Kiribati has asked New Zealand, the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, and Australia for assistance with aircraft, but without success.

It is now awaiting a response from the United States Coast Guard in Guam.

The fishing crew left the capital of Tarawa Atoll on Monday morning, heading south towards Maiana atoll. They were expected back by sunset but have not been seen since.

Marine Officer Ioteba Atanimakin says the search and rescue team is preparing a patrol boat to leave this evening, in order to arrive at the search area by daylight tomorrow.

"Predicting with the wind and currents it will take them, to get there early morning at eight o'clock, when they depart here tonight at ten o'clock. It's only estimations from the fishing ground where they always went to, and that's from the family members, as we interviewed them to get these reports."

Kiribati Marine Officer Ioteba Atanimakin